What tricks can you do to help prevent you from getting ill this winter? Well a lot of them may be simpler than you may have thought, and they’re all backed by science – no old wives’ tales here.
Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D3 and its usage to improve our 25(OH)D blood serum levels has been directly linked to our ability to prevent illness.
As the angle of the earth changes for winter here in the UK even if we get direct sunlight, we won’t be getting the specific UV rays we need to create this! Believe it or not it’s also recommended by “Public Health England” to supplement at least 400iU or 10Ug a day over winter to help with immunity.
This number in increased for exercising individuals and is always recommended to get a blood test to see where your levels are and if they’re <75nmol/L supplementing with 2000-4000iU a day can be recommended.
Citrus juice – Within our saliva there is something called IgA which helps defend against bacteria and viruses that enter our mouths. When the winter months draw in, we can often find ourselves out and about riding with a dry mouth, meaning we’re without saliva and that protective IgA.
Adding citrus juice to your water or zest to homemade carb bars can increase saliva production and help aid against dry mouth and potentially combat infection
Calories – An obvious one but if our calories are too low and we’re dieting too hard over the winter months we’re going to see reductions in recovery, increase in inflammation and cortisol which in turns opens us up to infection. Be smart with your deficit and only make it small or make sure you’re achieving maintenance calories to support a healthy immune system
Zinc Lozenges – Probably my favourite and least known aid! There is a huge wealth of information out now with 3 meta-analysis papers confirming the efficacy of using zinc lozenges to reduce the incidence and/or duration of the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections when taken at the first sign.
These should be sucked on for 20-30mins every 2-3 hours with the lozenge containing 10-18mg ionised zinc.